How To Create An Intranet
The entire goal of intranet construction is to create an intranet that your employees will use. You want an intranet that is effective, useful, and contains plenty of information that will help make the work day flow more smoothly for your employees. If you want to know how to create an intranet that works for your employees there are several things that you need to take into consideration throughout the design process.
Involve Employees Throughout The Creation Process
Understanding how to engage employees from several different departments is a critical step in developing an intranet that will provide for all of their needs. An intranet that works for management is great, but what you really need is a functional intranet that will work smoothly for every employee who accesses it. By involving and engaging someone from each department, you can create an intranet that will have significantly better odds of working for everyone. For example, you can:
Construct A Survey to Evaluate Needs
Your survey should be constructed to invite honest feedback. Consider making it anonymous so people will feel more freedom with their answers. Ask clear, concrete questions. These can be about anything from satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with your current intranet solution to questions about what features they think they would use.
Seek Out Employee Input
An online forum, a specific address where emails can be collected, or even a comment box can all offer opportunities for employees throughout the building to share their ideas. Taking the suggestions doesn’t mean that you have to use them; it just means that you’ll have a better idea of what the needs of everyone in the building are.
Invite Employees To Test The Intranet Software
A great tip is to invite employees to test the intranet software before you deploy it to the whole business. During this initial stage, you don’t want to limit deployment to a handful of departments. Instead, you want to stretch it over as many as possible and invite feedback to help you make those final adjustments that will take your intranet from “acceptable” to “successful.”
Keep An Eye On Employee Workflow
If you have an existing intranet, observe how it’s being used. What pages do employees visit regularly? Where are the snags and snarls that make it difficult for them to work efficiently? On the other hand, if you don’t currently have an intranet, watch employees to see where an intranet could benefit them the most. Keep an ongoing list of these potential improvements so that when you’re ready to build an intranet, you will have it on hand. Don’t just assume that you’ll remember it! Mental notes are never as good as a concrete, written file that you can refer to when it matters.
Be Clear About Your Requirements
If you’re using a cloud service provider like MyHub Intranet Solutions for your intranet, you’ll be working with an established company that has a great deal of experience building intranet templates that will work for a variety of different businesses. They can’t help you, however, if they don’t know what you need from your intranet solution! The clearer you are about your requirements, the easier it will be for your provider to help you develop the features you need. Create a spreadsheet or list that is clear enough to help your provider understand your needs and share it with them early in the design process. Don’t limit your explanation to a few short words about what you want. Include why you want it. As you build your unique intranet solution, your provider may be able to offer tips to streamline the process and help you get the results you want.
You Intranet Should Grow With Your Business
Remember that your intranet needs to grow and adapt with your business. What you create with this initial design is just the foundation. As time goes on, both your business and your intranet will evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of both employees and customers. Think of it as building an intranet foundation. Nothing that you post on it has to be permanent; instead, it’s the beginning of the design that will develop over time. Remembering that the intranet is adaptive will help you remember to:
- Add new content as it becomes relevant to your users.
- Delete content that is no longer relevant.
- Check regularly to make sure that needed content is easily accessible to everyone who needs it, including performing routine searches.
- Adapt forums and apps to provide the pieces needed by the company rather than keeping them just because “it’s always been that way.”
Your intranet is a growing part of the business. What works perfectly this month may be completely obsolete by next year, and that’s not always a bad thing! Instead, it means that your company is growing and that the intranet must adapt along with it.
Ensure Your Intranet Is Mobile-Friendly
Your users aren’t sitting behind their desks, glued to their computers. They’re active, on the go, and involved with work from wherever they are. They may need to access the company intranet from home, or they might be working from a hotel room halfway across the country or even halfway across the world. Wherever your users are, they need to be able to access the intranet just as easily as if they were sitting in a chair in their office. Once you understand the reasons why your users need a mobile-friendly intranet, you can start developing an intranet that will work for all of your users, no matter where they are.
- Keep file sizes small so that they will load efficiently on mobile devices.
- Make sure your search functionality works efficiently. It’s often harder to search from a mobile device!
- Implement mobile responsive design from the beginning. Don’t force mobile users to scroll sideways to finish reading text or to squint at a screen filled with too-small font.
- Check your intranet’s performance on mobile devices just as regularly as you check its performance on desktop computers.
Add Features That Are Important To Employees
You’ve already sent out polls, offered opportunities for employees to issue feedback, and even allowed employees to test out the intranet before its formal deployment. You have plenty of information and feedback from your employees. The question is, what are you going to do with it? There are a variety of features that are important to employees for different reasons. From the ease of finding information and the quality of the content offered on the intranet to the look and feel of the system and the ability to contribute their own content, what matters to your employees should help shape the foundation of your intranet. Keep in mind the goals of your intranet: what features will help you reach those goals? When you keep your employees’ needs at the forefront, building your intranet becomes a much smoother process.
If you’re ready to create a cloud-based intranet based on a template that has worked for many businesses before you while working with a knowledgeable team of professionals who are committed to helping you develop a successful intranet for your business, contact us. We’ll work with you to create an intranet that will work for your business, engage all the employees within your building, and help improve employee engagement and satisfaction throughout the entire company.